Robert Brown calls for major commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice

1st March 2018

Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown used the debate on the Budget at South Lanarkshire Council to call for a major effort to commemorate the Armistice on 11th November 1918 that ended the First World War – known then as the “Great War”.

The Council agreed a sum of £100,000 to spend on enhancing the various War Memorials throughout South Lanarkshire – not least those in Rutherglen and Cambuslang – including stonemasonry, landscaping, and one off repairs. In addition the Chief Executive said that funding would be available to support initiatives in schools and local communities on the Great War theme.

Robert Brown told the Council’s Executive Committee:

“I want to raise the issue of this year’s centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War on 11th November 1918. I know we have a capital proposal of £100,000 for renovation of war memorials which I strongly support but I think we should also be giving active and substantial support to commemoration of 1918 in schools, libraries, town halls, heritage organisations and so forth. It is a major opportunity not just to remember the bravery of the millions of men who lost their lives or the families which were damaged by the war, but also to celebrate our local communities across South Lanarkshire, the personal and family links to the 1914-18 conflict, and indeed the changes which the war wrought. In Rutherglen’s sister town of Rutherglen, Australia, they lost many men in the war, not least at Gallipoli and have within recent years completed a new memorial park. I should appreciate confirmation that funding can be found to support a variety of projects linked to 1918.”

After the meeting, Councillor Brown commented:

“This gives local communities a big opportunity to build their own programme of events linked to the end of the First World War. Many families in Rutherglen and Cambuslang have relatives whose names are inscribed on the various War Memorials. However, there are now only a handful of people for whom it is a personal memory and, for children today, it probably feels as remote as the wars of Napoleon.

The Great War was a huge tragedy on a world wide scale and we need to learn its lessons. What was it like living in those days? What was it like to be a child in 1918? How did the War appear to people in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen?

If anyone has ideas about this or wants to initiate a local event, I hope they will contact me at Robert.brown@southlanarkshire.gov.uk or by texting 07881 310 564.”

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